The hunt for Darwin's Beagle

Wednesday August 14, 2019


A search is under way for the ship that carried Charles Darwin to South America.

HMS Beagle is best known for her second, voyage in 1831-36, when Darwin gathered evidence that convinced him of the principle of natural selection.

The vessel carried the naturalist Charles Darwin and was sold for scrap in 1870 for £525

Marine archaeologists believe that the remains of the brig-sloop are submerged in a mudbank near Paglesham, Essex.

For more on this...

Juvenilia: a new online list

Friday August 2, 2019 - Tuesday October 12, 0202

A selection of works for children spanning three centuries, including: voyage accounts, natural history and the first childrens' book to include the kangaroo; games, puzzles and works of fiction including what is considered to be the first novel of Australia Alfred Dudley: or the Australian settlers. 

Hordern House exhibiting in Melbourne

Friday July 12, 2019

Hordern House will be exhibiting at the Melbourne Rare Book Fair 12-14th July at Wilson Hall University of Melbourne. Click the website link above to view our full catalogue. 

Two highlights to be shown include: a recently-discovered, fine pastel portrait of Sir Joseph Banks  by Amelia Susannah Petty; and a fine illuminated presentation address to HRH Prince Albert Victor, on the occasion of the young prince’s visit to the Cook memorial at Kurnell, Sydney in 1881. The...

Major works from a private Australian collection

Friday June 7, 2019

Offered from a private Australian collector is this choice catalogue which includes a beautifully-bound copy of Lycett's Views in Australia; a handsome set of Cook's three voyage accounts with uniform contemporary provenance; a fine copy of Parkinson, uncut in the original boards; and First Fleet works by Collins, Hunter and Phillip. To view this selection please click here and for a extended suite of views from Lycett please follow the link here.   

Centuries of Rare Chinese Books Now Online at the Library of Congress

Sunday June 2, 2019

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month, the Library of Congress has digitized and made available online 1,000 Chinese rare books produced before 1796. The Chinese Rare Book Digital Collection includes the most valuable titles and editions housed in the Library’s Asian Division, some of which date as far back as the 10th century and are the only extant copies in the world.

The collection may be viewed here and to read the full article...

The Proper Title: issues faced by libraries and the rare book trade on the topic of provenance, theft and forgery.

Wednesday May 29, 2019

The Proper Title: In the wake of more high-profile book thefts, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers is tackling head-on the sometimes thorny issue of provenance-- published on the ILAB website with kind permission of the Antiques Trade Gazette.

Shakespeare's First Folio returns to Britain after 40 years

Thursday May 23, 2019

In the 1970s theatre writer and book collector John Wolfson began accumulating what was to become one of the largest and most rare collections of works on Shakespeare in the world. Housed in New York only the lucky few have been offered the opportunity to see this marvellous collection. That is until a sneak preview of one of its highlights at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe last week.
Chairman of Firsts – London’s Rare...

Two recently-discovered works by 18th Century Women Artists

Monday May 20, 2019
Our new catalogue includes two important works by 18th Century women artists:
A previously unrecorded album of 45 watercolours by Sarah Stone of Leverian Museum fame. Besides a couple of single images this beautiful album is the only surviving example of Sarah Stone's work after her marriage. It is therefore one of the most significant finds to come to light in modern times by an artist with such fundamental and highly-researched connections to Cook...

Private Libraries that inspire

Tuesday April 30, 2019

A recent article from the Wall Street Journal featuring remarkable private libraries--spectacular rooms housing the owners’ collections of books, antiques, art and ephemera representing their unique, life-long passions and interests. Including the Including the the Walker Library of the History of the Human Imagination (pictured left) which automatically “wakes up,” glowing with theatrical lighting, when entered! Click the link above for the full article.